Cool App-titude: WhatsApp Messenger

May 7, 2013
By Rachel Eisenhower

Ranked by Apple this month as one of the top-selling paid iPhone apps of all time, WhatsApp Messenger lets users instantly send and receive messages, pictures, audio notes and videos at no cost without using SMS. In addition to the iPhone, the app is available for Android, BlackBerry and Windows phones.

The cross-platform messaging app uses your phone's Internet data plan to help you stay in touch with friends. Create groups and start conversations with all your contacts. Planning a vacation? There is no cost to send WhatsApp messages internationally as long as your contacts download WhatsApp Messenger as well.

Visit the WhatsApp website for links to download the app for your mobile phone.



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3 Phoenix Awarded Submarine Networking Contract

May 6, 2013
George I. Seffers
E-mail About the Author

3 Phoenix Inc., Chantilly, Va., is being awarded a potential $75 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for engineering services to support software development, procurement of commercial off-the-shelf products, and hardware/software integration required to provide improved technology for U.S. Navy open architecture and network-centric operations and warfare systems in support of Virginia-class submarines and other submarine and surface ship systems. This effort is for a follow-on Phase III of a Small Business Innovative Research, topic number N04-138—Real-time Data Fusion and Visualization Interface for Environmental Research Data. These services will be rendered as needed to support the Navy's initiative to maintain the pace of performance improvement through judicious use of lower power electronics, advanced algorithm design, and innovative applications of open software and hardware. The Naval Sea Systems command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. 

With Government Training Hamstrung by Sequestration, Alternatives Appear

May 3, 2013
By Beverly Cooper

Budget sequestration has made obtaining government-mandated training more difficult—this despite government requirements that individuals earn continuing education units (CEUs) and certification maintenance units (CMUs)”to keep current in their professions. Many of the opportunities in the past were centered around large-scale, efficient training that could certify more people by bringing groups together. However, travel restrictions have complicated this centralized collaboration.

Many organizations and defense-related associations now are providing the training and education needed in unique ways at low or no cost as part of their missions in support of military and government. By using local conference formats, they can deliver the content needed for CEUs, and industry and government are able to maintain the essential dialogue that eliminates waste and leads to relevant and needed services and programs.

For example, through the Engagement Theater concept at the upcoming AFCEA-USNI East: Joint Warfighting in Virginia Beach, May 14 to 16, individuals can hear from preferred providers and other subject matter experts on topics that qualify for CEUs. The Cyber Theater offers CompTIA CEUs through Cypherpath LLC. Several panels at the conference offer CEUs as well, including one at 10 a.m. on May 14 called, “A Contested Environment: How Do We Provide Effective Command and Control to Operators?” An individual can attend the panel and Engagement Theater without cost.

Army Contracts to Develop New Radar System

May 3, 2013

The U.S. Army is expanding its Range Radar Replacement Program (RRRP) with a high/medium power close-in radar system. The new mobile system will provide fine detail when tracking munitions and other targets at a range of at least 37 miles. The close-in radar system joins the fly-out radar system, the first range instrumentation radar system developed as part of the RRRP. The program aims to help the Army modernize test ranges through cost-effective, digital technologies.

The new radar system is a contract modification with General Dynamics C4 Systems valued at $16 million.